Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Another Sort of Yellow

I saw two gorgeous trees yesterday.One was a very large Japanese Maple that was a tapestry of bright red, orange and gold. The wind was blowing, so it was constantly shifting in its pattern, almost like watered silk. The other was some kind of oak that was the most stunning yellow I think I've ever seen, especially in an oak, as they often just get brown. The hills are really full of color, but it is muted because it hasn't been really cold over a period of time - only 2 minor frosts.

Today I am trying my first yellow tea. It is from Thunderbolt Teas, which specializes in teas from Darjeeling, India. Yellow teas are rare and particularly if they originate outside of China. This one comes form the Goomtee Estate. Yellow teas are green teas that have been oxidized a bit to rid them of the sometimes overwhelming vegetal scent and taste, they are sort of a sub- category of greens and need to be treated as such.
When I opened the sample Benoy kindly sent me with my order I noticed right away how fresh the large leaves looked, a greenish brown shot through with yellow. They smelled kind of floral, kind of vegetal, I couldn't really make up my mind. I brewed it at about 180 degrees for a minute and then a second time for 1.5 minutes. The first infusion was an old gold color and was still giving off the floral/vegetal scent. That was also the taste. For a short, cool infusion, the tea had a very thick mouth feel and a lingering hint of sweetness. The second infusion was very pale gold and the vegetal taste had pretty much disappeared, as had the thickness. It was very delicate.
I liked this tea, but I think I will stick to the greens I like, as the cost is more in line with my budget. I am grateful I had the opportunity to try it, however. I think I'll give the rest of the sample to a friend who is tiring of his green teas and see what he thinks.